2010 Positional Rankings: Catcher

Alright, a couple things before we get going.  FB365 is in the final stages of the transition to the Bloguin network.While I am very excited to team up with the good folks at Bloguin, there may be some glitches in the beginning.Please be patient if not everything is working. Bloguin is taking on a sizeable amount of blogs, some of which were on MVN so they are working overtime.  I am confident that everyone will be more than pleased with the new digs.  These rankings are subject to change with pending signings, trades, etc. I will have a tab dedicated to the full rankings list once they are all done, but again, this could be slowed by the transition. Without any further ado, we start the positional rankings at catcher.

Tier one

1. Joe Mauer
2. Victor Martinez
3. Brian McCann

Joe Mauer is the clear cut number one, but regression is likely from his astronomical 2009 numbers and what I hear about the way Target Field will play for hitters is not good. Victor Martinez is not that far off anyway.  His bat will benefit from a full season in Fenway and he;ll be in a solid lineup from day one. Brian McCann just keeps proving himself a consistent high-level fantasy catcher.  There is a chance that he rivals V-Mart’s numbers, but he likely won’t score as many runs. 

Tier two

4. Matt Wieters
5. Geovany Soto

Yes, I continue to drink the Matt Wieters cool aide. His hot September should carry over into 2010 where he will not have to worry about where he will start the season. Having worked with many of the young Orioles pitchers at AAA will help ease the burden of being the full time catcher. Look for an improvement in BB/K rate and for the power he flashed in the minors to come to fruition. If it doesn’t happen for Wieters in 2010, it is a clear sign that the apocalypse is imminent. Geovany Soto’s 2009 was in many ways a forgettable season. Starting with early preparation for the WBC, which apparently involved smoking some herbal plants, and heading into a season long slump with injuries attached. He is a classic case of a talented young hitter who just had everything go wrong, but should bounce back if healthy.

Tier three

6. Russell Martin
7. Kurt Suzuki
8. Miguel Montero
9. Jorge Posada
10. Ryan Doumit

Tis’ the season for comebacks. You can find a full breakdown of Russell Martin here where I covered the reasons I think he’ll be good, not great in 2010. His stolen base potential keeps his value high. Kurt Suzuki is a very solid contact hitter with some pop, but his 15 home runs in 2009 may be just about his ceiling given that he is more of a groundball/line drive hitter. Miguel Montero is a big question mark here. I think we will see a drop in AVG, but he has legit 15-18 home run pop. Suzuki gets the edge because of his back-to-back 530-plus at bat seasons, which should give him the edge in runs and RBI over Montero as well as some steals. Putting Jorge Posada this high is like pulling teeth. I just can’t put a lot of faith in a 38-year-old catcher (39 in August). Maybe Posada is the exception to the rule. Maybe, but the odds are against it. Then again, look what he did last season at age 37/38. Draft him if you want, but don’t be surprised you end up greatly disappointed. Unlike last season, when Posada could have been drafted in rounds 15 or later, you’ll have to use a much higher pick in 2010 (ADP of 115 at Mock Draft Central). Ryan Doumit is yet another comeback candidate. Wrist injuries have this nasty way of sapping a hitter’s power. He did, however, manage eight homers from July on when he returned to action. I wouldn’t be surprised to see around 15 home runs and an AVG in the .280 range.

Tier four

11. Mike Napoli
12. Chris Iannetta
13. A.J. Pierzynski

Here we see both Mike Napoli and Chris Iannetta as low AVG/high power plays. I am a big believer in Iannetta’s power, but the pending signing of Miguel Olivo could cloud things a bit. As for Napoli I would love to see him get 450-plus at bats, but with Hideki Matsui slotted as the everyday DH and Jeff Mathis still in the mix for innings behind the plate, it seems unlikely. A.J. Pierzynski has been a consistent, yet unspectacular option for years now. At age 33 he is more likely to regress than improve.

Tier five

14. Bengie Molina
15. Yadier Molina

Name your Molina. Bengie is still capable of cracking some home runs, but his size and age (35) are very worrisome. Despite his 20 bombs in 2009, he’s just not a guy I would trust outside of the last few rounds. Yadier surprised with nine steals in 2009, something that I don’t expect him to repeat in 2010. He represents a decent second catcher option for his AVG, but doesn’t contribute much in any other category.

Tier Six


 


16. Buster Posey

17. Jesus Flores
18. Jarrod Saltalamaccia
19. Kelly Shoppach
20. Miguel Olivo
21. Carlos Ruiz
22. John Baker
23. Nick Hundley
24. Taylor Teagarden

I really do like Buster Posey’s potential if he can land the starting gig in San Fran, but that is far from certain at this point. Jesus Flores could provide some cheap power. Jarrod Saltalamaccia still has potential, but obviously looks more like a bust at this point. I’d give him a shot in two-catcher formats. The Shoppach/Navarro situation is still up in the air. Nick Hundley is a dark horse to provide cheap power in deeper formats.

The master list

1. Joe Mauer
2. Victor Martinez
3. Brian McCann
4. Matt Wieters
5. Geovany Soto
6. Russell Martin
7. Kurt Suzuki
8. Miguel Montero
9. Jorge Posada
10. Ryan Doumit
11. Mike Napoli
12. Chris Iannetta
13. A.J. Pierzynski
14. Bengie Molina
15. Yadier Molina
16. Buster Posey
17. Jesus Flores
18. Jarrod Saltalamaccia
19. Kelly Shoppach
20. Miguel Olivo
21. Carlos Ruiz
22. John Baker
23. Nick Hundley
24. Taylor Teagarden